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If you want to find your inner goodness, you must first understand what goodness is, and that begins by going to the source of all goodness – God. That is the seed from which all goodness blooms with constant daily care.

Finding goodness: Start with the source

“Taste and see that the lord is good; blessed is the one who takes refuge in him.”

– Psalm 34:8

In the first book of the Bible, Genesis 1, we are told of the creation of the universe by God, and in every instance we read: “God saw that it was good.”

If you are looking for the purest, freshest water, you go to the top of the mountain, at the source of the melting snow. The same is true when it comes to seeking goodness, you must go to the source – God.

Therefore, to find the source of what defines goodness, you must seek wisdom from God’s word, found in the Holy Scriptures of the Bible.

Goodness as defined by God’s word in the Bible

“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.”

– Galatians 5:22-23

Goodness starts with developing a new mindset. The apostle Paul wrote:

“The mind governed by the flesh is death, but the mind governed by the Spirit is life and peace.”

–Romans 8:6

As human beings, we are often influenced and driven by the “flesh,” that is motivations of the physical and material world, rather than having our mind set on the spiritual. Goodness is born out of the spirit. The spirit puts others first. It denies self interest over what is the most beneficial to all. The spirit denies self and does what is right, even if that means personally suffering.

Goodness is not aggressive, does not seek revenge, is not greedy, prone to anger or stirs up disharmony or controversy.

“Let love be genuine. Abhor what is evil; hold fast to what is good.”

–Romans 12:9

The purpose of God is to bring goodness to the world. It is born out of love.

“And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.”

–Romans 8:28

Humankind and goodness: An unfortunate truth

“And Jesus said to him, “Why do you call me good? No one is good except God alone.”

– Mark 10:18

The Bible tells us that God is holy and incapable of doing evil. In fact, evil only occurs through the free will of God’s creations: Humankind, Angels and Demons.

It is often said that people are “basically good.” But that is not true. If anything, people are ultimately selfish and most of their motivations are always influenced by self-interest. People have the potential to be basically good, but it is not a given that they are.

Humans are basically bad

“The LORD saw how great the wickedness of the human race had become on the earth, and that every inclination of the thoughts of the human heart was only evil all the time.”

– Genesis 6: 5

Jesus reiterated this truth, saying:

“For out of the heart come evil thoughts, murder, adultery, sexual immorality, theft, false testimony, and slander.”

– Matthew 15:19

The apostle Paul said:

“As it is written: “There is no one righteous, not even one;”

– Romans 3:10

Lessons in goodness: The Bible

“All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be competent, equipped for every good work.”

–2 Timothy 3:16-17

The lesson from the unfortunate truth is that humankind cannot discover and foster goodness on its own. This is why God passed down His wisdom to Moses, the prophets, his son Jesus Christ and the apostles. We need the truth of the Bible as the infallible standard and guide for righteousness.

With a full understanding of God’s word, one must then apply the Lord’s wisdom to their life so that it is reflected in every thought, action, and word that they speak.